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Robert Walker: ‘Penalised for a twitch of an ear’ *H&H Plus*

Opinion

They’re show horses, not police horses, reminds H&H’s showing columnist

It’s been really nice to have a cluster of shows to attend this past month. One thing I’ve noticed is how on form all the young horses are, both my own and those of my fellow competitors. I don’t know if it’s just that all of my current string have better brains or if they’ve benefited from the increased work at home. We’ve been as full on with their work as if they were out showing.

While at the UK Nationals (15–16 August), I noticed horses were a lot fresher. In many ways, the criteria for a show horse had become similar to that of a police horse. So people were working them for hours before the class in fear any exuberance would put them down the line. And horses were trotted around for 10 minutes before going into the ring. The pressure had reduced and riders were daring to show their horses off more, rather than just sitting pretty as a passenger.